Albuquerque – Spelling It Is the Easy Part

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

We really wanted a day off today, but despite the fact that the campsite owners were absolutely lovely, there was absolutely nothing to do in Grants and certainly no shade. We'd felt pretty hot yesterday afternoon and realised that it was 100F. It says a lot that we’ve got used to it and that 30 C feels ok for cycling.

The free continental breakfast at this KOA was a great deal, and we destroyed several bowls of cereal and plates of donuts before setting off. We made a quick stop at the Walmart just outside of town and got some special rim liners to help with punctures and restocked with patches. Route 66 was a lovely rest from the highway and we bumbled along for most of the day listening to music and taking leisurely stops as needed. Ridiculously the 72 miles we faced felt like a short day after the miles we’ve been doing recently so we didn’t feel under pressure.

Mikey had managed to use Google maps to create a hill profile for the day and its was mostly downhill – lucky as yet again we had a HEADWIND! We really need some westerly’s. We had to get back on the highway for 24 miles, but it a scenic stretch with more huge rock formations and stunning desert/blue sky vistas. We hit some hills at 60 miles and started to feel the pain. At 65 miles we found the turnoff back onto the 66 and headed into a travel centre to fuel up for the last 8 miles. Mikey used the internet to discover that the pretty big looking hill in front of us was 4 miles to the top. I wasn’t very impressed and insisted on a donut before getting back on the bike.

We slogged up for what turned out to be 5 miles and finally saw Albuquerque laid out in front of us. We knew it was still 18 miles to the KOA, which was right on the other side of town, and instead headed to an RV park we’d found online, planning to collapse and have the short ride in the morning and do some sightseeing on the way through town. The woman in the empty RV park was having none of it and said it was totally against the rules for us to put a tent on an RV pitch. She packed us off two miles further to another park who said the same thing. We got EXTREMLY angry at this ridiculous rule, especially as we were very happy to pay the same as an RV and therefore could see absolutely no reason why they wouldn’t let us.

It was 6.30, we’d been on the bikes for 9 hrs and REALLY didn’t want to do another 12 miles. Nothing for it though and so we set off. 8 miles downhill into town were a lovely bonus, but Albuquerque’s aggressive rush hour drivers were not. We headed into Macdonalds for iced smoothie number 2 and found out that it was still 10 miles to the campsite! After calling to check they had tent spaces we set out wearily. Obviously as we had come down into a huge valley we soon started heading back uphill – lovely. At least Albuquerque started to look a bit more promising after its grim suburbs, and we passed some very tempting bars and restaurants. 6 more miles and it started to look grim again and we were flagging after 88 miles. At that point a wannabe marine very ostentatiously (and foolishly) over took us, pedalling as fast as he could. Despite everything, we could not let this go and spent the next 3 miles chasing him back down and re-taking him. A sprint was definitely not what we needed, but it did distract us, and it was worth it to see his face as we passed him. He gave up, and we limped the last mile to the KOA.

We arrived at 8pm, just as reception was closing and the welcome we got made the extra miles worthwhile. They didn’t want us to bother about checking in until the morning, and took us straight out to find the best shady site. After a swim and shower we felt exhausted but very happy to not have to ride in the morning. We were just congratulating ourselves on a day with NO PUNCTURES, when Mikey punctured the airbed as he got into the tent – nice one…

Miles Cycled: 92, we did not plan it that way this morning
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triciagick on

Well done you two - glad to see the Rackham/Gick/Neville competitive spirit lives on and that you beat him - brilliant!!
Now Pols, just a couple of grammatical points :
outside of - no, no just outside will do - in your defence, the Americans do say off of etc and many Brits are doing it, but I CANNOT STAND IT!
When I was still in Junior school the most horrible teacher in the world made me write out on to (definitely 2 words) 100 times - she pointed out that there were very few occasions when both words were needed anyway - just 'to' or just 'on' usually is sufficient. Anyway, although she was horrid, she knew her English grammar and was right about that, so I've never forgotten. What a nerd I am - sorry!
Much more important - I'm glad your day ended well.
Tons of love you two xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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